Real Madrid tie-up with Abu Dhabi’s Ipic still on track after Al Qubaisi exit

Real Madrid’s tie-up with International Petroleum Investment Company (Ipic), the Abu Dhabi investment fund, is still on track, the football club confirmed.

The strategic partnership with Ipic, announced in October and reportedly worth up to €20 million (Dh83.5m) a year, includes help to finance the development of the Santiago Bernabeu as well as naming rights.

In January, Spanish media reported Real’s president Florentino Pérez saying that the club is looking at a change to the stadium’s name with those considered including the Abu Dhabi Bernabeu and the Cepsa Bernabeu.

Ipic owns the Spanish energy company Cepsa.

Major staff changes at Ipic were ordered by presidential decree on April 22. This resulted in Khadem Al Qubaisi, formerly the managing director, leaving his post, with the energy minister Suhail Al Mazrouei taking up the position.

Mr Al Qubaisi, who agreed the Real deal, is still the chairman of the Cepsa board, according to its website.

A Real Madrid spokeswoman told The National that nothing had changed regarding its partnership with Ipic.

Ipic’s investment will also fund a series of Real Madrid museums and expansion of the club’s global network of football schools.

The Bernabeu seats 81,000 fans and opened in 1947. Its redevelopment, which will include a hotel and a shopping centre, is expected to cost about €400m and be completed by 2017.

The planned revamp of the Bernabeu has hit a stumbling block after the High Court in Madrid overturned the city’s approval of the project. The club said in February that it is reworking its plans.

Real topped Deloitte’s 2013-14 money league with almost €550m in revenues, ahead of Manchester United and Bayern Munich.

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